Candi’s DNA Results

As a Christmas present, my sister got Brian and I a DNA test for Candi. The test is available at Canine Heritage.com. It tells what kind of breed(s) make up your dog.

The results came back the other day and Candi turns out to have some Dachshund, Chow Chow, and German Shepherd in her. She has no primary or secondary breeds. She’s more than likely a very mixed dog.

Doing some research into the breeds they found (we all thought she was at least some Beagle, by the way), I compiled a list of traits from the three dogs they found in her.

Dachshund

  • Chases things with determination
  • Devotion & loyalty to owners
  • Prone to separation anxiety
  • Show above average intelligence
  • Clever, lively, & courageous
  • Challenges larger dogs
  • Does not like unfamiliar people, may growl & bark

Chow Chow

  • Extremely loyal
  • Curly tail
  • Prefer to watch for strangers by entrance

German Shepherd

  • Sheds all year long
  • Very smart
  • Willingness to learn
  • Loyal nature & bond well
  • Over protective of family & territory
  • Probably gets the bird on her head & colors

She’s just a puppy!

Random Thoughts 2/1/10

  • This one probably deserves a post in and of itself. Bri and I are looking to expand our family. We want to adopt another dog but we’re running into a lot of difficulties. We can’t adopt a puppy from a shelter because one of us needs to be stay at home. You’d think with the economy being bad and a lot of unwanted animals, they’d be lenient.
  • Bill Maher blogged if Democrats really wanted to pass health care, they should be against it. Makes sense and I agree. Republicans are the party of no and the opposite of everything the Democrats are for.
  • I’m almost done three of my 2010 Resolutions.
  • Re Big Love: If Bill would embrace the Progressive idea of Universal Health Care, he wouldn’t have to worry about his wives/children being dropped from his family coverage. But he’s running as a Republican (and Right Wing Christian) and we know their views.
  • I think the iPad is a joke and will fail regardless of Apple’s following. It doesn’t do anything new.
  • I REALLY hope the economy rebounds soon. I’m tired of it day after day and it’s really hurting me, even though I have a job, believe it or not.
  • I have a few money making ideas. I’m waiting for a few things in order to get started.
  • I’m REALLY scared for our country if we can’t get the recent Supreme Court decision undone. Alan Grayson is leading the charge in introducing two new bills to try to stop it, and an online petition. This issue should be bipartisan and Obama was correct in bashing the Justices in his State Of The Union.
  • Also, it’s a relief that Scott Roeder was convicted. It had me REALLY scared that in our country we might be crazy enough to let off a murderer.

A Murphy’s Law Day

I finally decided to blog about an instance of a day my coworker and I had a few weeks ago. It’s a day where everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.

Let me start out by saying, I’ve told this story to a few people, including my husband. As I was telling it each and every time, I even thought I was lying.

It started out, Dimitri decided to order lunch from one of our favorite lunch haunts, Kenny’s. I ordered over the phone in advance so we could just pick it up. Dimitri decided to grab their lunch deal there.

We went to Kenny’s around 12:00, lunch time. We parked where we usually park, in front of Kenny’s Sub Shop. We walked in to get our lunch. No line or anything. In the midths of paying for our food, the lady from the counter said “Uh oh, some body’s car is being towed”. It was Dimitri’s.

He ran out to tell the tow truck not to tow his car. I was still trying to pay for my food. The tow truck driver said to give him $50 in cash to drop it. Dimitri said he didn’t have it. The guy then said to go to the ATM around the corner.

Dimitri went back into Kenny’s and told me what he was doing. The guy, not to my knowledge, was still proceeding to tow the car. Dimitri was gone, maybe five minutes, getting money from the ATM. I was in Kenny’s, thinking the tow truck driver would keep his word and all would be okay. The tow truck driver then started to drive away. I started to run after him, trying to flag him down.

Dumbfounded, I called Dimitri. While he was coming back, I stopped two cops that were heading into Kenny’s. I asked if they saw anything wrong with the spot. There was no sign for handicap parking or anything. There was a sign a few spaces in front of Qdoba, but it didn’t label the spot we were parked in. The cops were totally on our side and said there was no reason anyone should have towed our car. We then decided to call the same tow place that was on the Qdoba sign, on the off chance it was them who towed it. They didn’t have record of Dimitri’s car. We then called the police. The two officers were nice enough to give us the number. The MoCo police said they’d come investigate.

We called the tow truck place again. We even had the cops on the phone telling them to bring the car back, that the space was a legitimate space to park. They said they didn’t have anyone that could tow our car back. Whatever. We had to go there.

I quickly ate my lunch before the cops showed up. I also called Mike to come get us, but the cops came there before Mike could. When they got there, they looked around and found a tiny sign as you go up the hill saying “Qdoba Parking Only”. NO sign or label on the space or the spaces around it. We had parked there 293 times before.

We asked the cops if they could give us a ride to the tow place. They were nice enough to agree but what a pickle. The cop didn’t know the area and we had to call the place several times for an address and directions. My GPS messed up and thought I was on a road I wasn’t… Yay, Verizon. After driving around a few times, passing the sub shop like three times, the cop finally found the place. A little crappy place that operated out of a trailer, of which had no steps. The gate was chained up with a pad lock. The fence looked like it was ready to fall over but at least the barbed wire at the top was intact.

The same dude who towed us walked out and said it would be $115 to get the car back. Dimitri said he said $50 then towed him away. The guy, total jerk, the very definition of a-hole, said he needed $115 to get the car back. Dimitri kept his cool and asked if there was an ATM around since they didn’t take credit cards. The guy said there was a credit union close and pointed us in that direction, and, for our hassle and his arrogance, he knocked off $15.

We then walked to the credit union. As luck would have it, the ATM was out of order. We asked people walking by if they knew of another one. We even stopped by a few little restaurants to see if they’d run a card and give us money, with no avail. Some people said in some government building a few blocks over. We went there, walked right in and were promptly stopped by security.

We then had to walk all the way to the main entrance and sign in, go through a medal detector, be patted down, and have a security guard personally walk us to the ATM. We finally got the money and headed back.

When we got back, the dude at the gate said it would be $115. Dimitri said the one dude before said $100. He had the dude get on the phone to the other dude. He finally agreed, $100. If not, we would have to walk all the way back to the ATM again, so at least that went okay.

They let us retrieve the car so we went back to work. The whole fiasco took two hours.

Ugh, anyway, at least nothing else went wrong that day.

Vacation Tweets – Las Vegas 1/14/10 – 1/20/10

Here’s the list of tweets from my Las Vegas vacation!

Wednesday January 13, 2010

  • Officially on #VACATION! 5:11 PM EST

Thursday January 14, 2010

  • Arrived in #Atlanta. Almost two hour layover. Weak. 8:48 AM EST
  • Had nothing but problems with #Delta so far. My flight is delayed. Leaving #Atlanta at 11:30 now. 10:16 AM EST
  • Flight delayed again. They don’t even have a plane for us. We’re to go to another gate, unknown yet. MASSIVE #DeltaFail! 11:12 AM EST
  • Finally boarding! Almost ready. #DeltaFail 1:20 PM EST
  • Idiots and their big bags. We’d be up in the air if it wasn’t for their cheap asses. #fail 1:34 PM EST
  • #Vegas trip update: We’re stuck in the plane, on the runway. There’s something wrong with the intercom system. Joy. #fail 2:39 PM EST
  • We have arrived! #Vegas 6:53 PM EST 3:53 PM PST
  • JAY LENO is here! Brian is getting tickets now! I can’t believe it! #jayleno #vegas 8:40 PM EST 5:40 PM PST

Friday January 15, 2010

  • This is #fail. It’s 6 AM here and I’m wide awake. 9:15 AM EST 6:15 AM PST
  • At #M&M World. Then #NYNY to grab a bite. 2:40 PM EST 11:40 AM PST
  • Seeing the #Titanic exhibit at the #Luxor. 4:52 PM EST 1:52 PM PST
  • Now at the Auto Collection at the Imperial Palace. Worried we might run out of things to do in #Vegas… Probably not. 7:42 PM EST 4:42 PM PST
  • Just had sushi at a Japanese steakhouse. Now waiting for the #volcano to errupt at the #Mirage. 9:47 PM EST 6:47 PM PST
  • Just saw the Pirates show at #TI (Treasure Island). Currently enjoying a tasty ice cream at #McDonalds. 10:50 PM EST 7:50 PM PST

Saturday January 16, 2010

  • Just took a bath. This hotel towel smells like coffee. Probably going to get breakfast now. 11:31 AM EST 8:31 AM PST
  • Ran into two #Ravens fans so far. Going to watch the games at the sports bar here. They have big screens. #GoRavens! 12:07 PM EST 9:07 AM PST
  • Sports bar at Circus Circus sucks. Have to find another one. 4:01 PM EST 1:01 PM PST
  • Kurt Warner is tough! #Cardinals 6:38 PM EST 3:38 PM PST
  • #WTF is that s**t call on Lewis??? Bull! 9:33 PM EST 6:33 PM PST
  • #Colts obviously have the refs on their side. #NFLFail 10:17 PM EST 7:17 PM PST
  • I JUST GOT MY PICTURE TAKEN WITH JAY LENO!!! 11:49 PM EST 8:49 PM PST

Sunday January 17, 2010

  • Is #Minnesota starting to self destruct? #Cowboys aren’t looking too good. 2:47 PM EST 11:47 AM PST
  • After all the #Cowboys did for the #Vikings, for them to just smear it in their faces is just cherlish. I lost some respect for #Favre. 4:02 PM EST 1:02 PM PST
  • Seriously, #Chargers? You need to win. You’re the only ones who know how to beat the #Colts! 7:18 PM EST 4:18 PM PST
  • Heading out to #Fremont Street! 8:04 PM EST 5:04 PM PST
  • Brian won $1.55 on a shot machine waiting for our table at Tony Romas. 8:39 PM EST 5:39 PM PST
  • Checking out a gift shop at Fremont Street and awaiting the show. 9:33 PM EST 6:33 PM PST
  • Finding some really cool glasses in souvenir shops… Too bad I don’t pay for my glasses. #vegas 9:44 PM EST 6:44 PM PST
  • I just gambled and won the cost of my souvenirs today. Bri just made $15.60! #vegas 10:48 PM EST 7:48 PM PST
  • Up $15.22 tonight already. Going fo more now. 12:10 AM EST 9:10 PM PST
  • Brian’s excersizing his prob and stat knowledge and is hitting it big in roulette! 1:22 AM EST 10:22 PM PST

Monday January 18, 2010

  • Rainy day in #LV. Off to get some food. Hoping my luck will change tonight. 1:10 PM EST 10:10 AM PST
  • Brian just won $1.40 playing Triple 7’s at Caesars. 3:28 PM EST 12:28 PM PST
  • Bought souvenirs. Just checked out the fountains at the #Bellagio. 6:09 PM EST 3:09 PM PST
  • Going to Mandalay Bay to check out the coral reef. 6:44 PM EST 3:44 PM PST
  • Having dinner at #PlanetHollywood in Caesar’s Mall. 8:17 PM EST 5:17 PM PST
  • Waiting for the fountains at the #Bellagio again. This time at night. Then off to the Monte Carlo. Frank Caliendo tonight! #frankcaliendo 9:20 PM EST 6:20 PM PST
  • Got upgraded on Frank Caliendo tickets! We’re now in the seventh row! Woo! #awesome #win 12:13 AM EST 9:13 PM PST
  • Just got our pictures taken with Frank cliendo! Woo! #anotherwin #awesome 2:01 AM EST 11:01 PM PST

Tuesday January 19, 2010

  • At the top of the Stratosphere! Ahhh! It’s really high! 2:41 PM EST 11:41 AM PST
  • Oh yeah. Three #Ravens fans now. Ran into another one on the Stratosphere. 3:17 PM EST 12:17 PM PST
  • Apparently our hotel hasn’t gotten out of the stone age yet. 1 800 numbers cost money when you dial them. #fail 4:58 PM EST 1:58 PM PST
  • Just had dinner. All you can eat pasta for $10. Now walking around the Adventuredome. It’s leaking because of the rain. 8:37 PM EST 5:37 PM PST
  • Going down stairs to #gamble. 10:59 PM EST 7:59 PM PST
  • Lost Brian in the #Casino. Can somebody put a fricken bell on him or something? 12:13 AM EST 9:13 PM PST

Wednesday January 20, 2010

  • People in the same boat as we. Trying to finish their beverages before check point. #airport 10:56 AM EST 7:56 AM PST
  • All checked in and waiting for boarding. Our flight is on time! Ready to go to #Detroit. Bye, #Vegas. 12:00 PM EST 9:00 AM PST
  • Just landed in #Detroit. Other flight leaves in like 20 minutes. May not make it. #DeltaFail 4:48 PM EST
  • Barely made it to our flight. I don’t think our bag will have the same luck. 5:01 PM EST
  • Finally landed at Reagan. Need to take #metro now. 6:35 PM EST

Feeding Candi

I’m really starting to take issue with people feeding my dog table scraps and treats. None of my friends do it, but my family does. My Aunt Ruth has always been bad with her, giving her numerous hot dogs. It’s not good for Candi.

My Aunt Janet said that’s what killed her dog, Emma, was people feeding her table scraps. She got obese and died early.

Candi is overweight as it is. I’ve always been a stickler for giving Candi table scraps. I only do it on rare occasions, and it’s always in small quantities.

My mother in law constantly gives Candi treats. Treat after treat. It’s pretty frustrating when I’m trying to keep Candi healthy and active. I’ve tried talking to her about it but there’s like no arguing with her. I just want to keep my dog.

Candi is going on 14 now. That’s pretty old for a dog. I want to keep her around for as long as it’s possible and she’s not in pain. I can’t help but feel sabotaged when Candi gets fed an abundance of treats and things that aren’t good for her.

Also there’s the fact that I don’t want to lose my dogs love. It’s clear anyone or anything would prefer the person giving them good stuff. With me, Candi doesn’t get many treats. It’s gotta be clear she prefers Brian’s mom.

I feel so helpless in this argument. How do I tell someone NOT to feed my dog, please?

2010 Resolutions

Here’s my list for 2010:

  • Get over feelings I have
  • See Aunt Ruth & Aunt Janet more (at least five times the entire year)
  • Eat less meat and find more things to eat that are vegetarian
  • Finish the garage (everything, including the driveway)
  • Get Candi off the cone (could be an impossible task)
  • Settle Dad’s estate
  • Fix the Camaro and paint it (January project)
  • *you know*
  • Ride the scooter to work
  • Host at least three parties
  • Snowboarding, master the bunny slope and be able to get off the lift without falling
  • Go see a general practitioner
  • Donate money to charity (donated over $150 in 2009)
  • Go on vacation and take more weekend breaks (Vegas in two weeks)
  • Get better at debating
  • Make more friends

Here’s a picture of my new scooter!

2009 Resolutions Update III

The last blog updates: 2009 Resolutions Update II and 2009 Resolutions Update I and 2009 Resolutions.

Since the year is almost over, let’s take a look at accomplishments on the resolutions I’ve set for myself:

  • Be more soft spoken, tone it down a bit and watch what I say (done)
  • Have more parties/go to more parties (I’m happy with my social life)
  • Don’t feel the need to say how I feel all the time
  • Get PHP certified (done)
  • Get at least 1,000 quotes next year (I did it with quotes to spare!)
  • See Aunt Ruth and Aunt Janet more (I see Aunt Ruth about once every two months, AJ a lot less)
  • Get over some things that bother me
  • Keep off the 10 pounds I just lost, be healthier and eat healthier (very happy with my weight)
  • Treat Brian and Candi better
  • Do something good for the environment or humanity (I donated money to a few causes this year, donated about $150)
  • Buy a house
  • Buy a new Prius
  • Get Candi off the cone (poor puppy) (she was doing really well, then she went after it, yet again)
  • Settle my Dad’s estate (not in my control) (next year?)
  • See a doctor and dentist (need to see a general practitioner)
  • EDITED FOR SECRECY, IF YOU WANT TO KNOW, JUST ASK ME; CAN’T HAVE IT ON THE WEB RIGHT NOW (still)
  • Plant grass
  • Buy a grill
  • Buy a lawn mower
  • Build a garage (done, just need to do a few more things then I’ll blog about it)
  • Get insurance, tags, title for the Dodge Ram (done)
  • Get the Camero painted AND fixed (January project)
  • Have a house warming party (a successful party)

I did pretty good for this year. Let’s wait to see what I’ll come up with for next year.

Random Thoughts 12/10/09

  • Barack Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize today after announcing the escalation of the war in Afghanistan… At least he’s donating the $1.4 million to charity.
  • Dennis Kucinich is trying to pull through a House Resolution to withdraw our troops from Pakistan and Afghanistan. I already wrote to my Congresswoman, Donna Edwards, asking her to support it.
  • Kucinich also made a great speech on the House floor how these wars are costing jobs stating “War is a weapon of mass destruction“.
  • On Hardball last night Alan Grayson would tell Dick Cheney to STFU. That was priceless.
  • Uganda is trying to push through an anti gay bill banning homosexuality. If suspected of homosexuality, people can face jail time and even death. Why isn’t this getting more traction on the news networks? The only person who seems to want to talk about it is Rachel Maddow. And our Republican leaders refuse to denounce it. Makes me sick.
  • I concluded that I’m no longer going to buy anything else that promises flight. I recently bought these UFO things off of Woot. They’re hard to control and need AA batteries to charge. This thing marks the third time I bought something that says it can fly. Maybe I’ll try it again when they come out with something that can plug into a WALL and not use AA batteries to charge.
  • As some know, I’ve changed my view on illegal immigration. I’m now more liberal. I still don’t think the people should come here illegally but we need to do something for the people who are here and DO pay taxes. I think we should harshly punish businesses for employing them, that may drive some of them away when they can’t find work.
  • I’m also for illegals having health insurance. Of course, after all our citizens have health care. Universal single payer health care has always been my view. Once we have that, anyone in this country should be entitled to it. I just don’t know how to debate it other than saying it’s the right thing to do and it should be considered a human right. I realize there are A LOT of problems with this stance. I don’t know what to say other than that’s how my heart feels.
  • Our company holiday party is this weekend. We didn’t have one last year. Should be a good time.
  • I don’t think the Ravens are going to make it to the playoffs this year. Sucks.

Another Victim Of The Health Insurance Industry, Me Part II

The other post I blogged about Another Victim Of The Health Insurance Industry, Me Part I still hasn’t been settled, but I’m just dealing with it. I guess my body got used to the forced medication from my health insurance company.

Another incident happened. This time with my ChoiceCare Card. Don’t let the name fool you, there is NO CHOICE.

I had signed a HIPAA Substantiation form which gives CareFirst the access to my medical records so they can pay the doctors without me having to fax them 3,973 things proving I went to the doctor… typical things insurance companies are supposed to automatically do.

I went to one doctor this year, one. My OBGYN… way back in August. In late October they emailed me and sent me a nasty gram saying they denied my claim. My copay of $30 to my ChoiceCare card. I was told by HR I can use my card to pay my copays. ChoiceCare card threw a fit.

After receiving the nasty gram, I talked to the HR about it. They told me what to do. Call my doctor, ask if they filed the claim, if so did it go through, and could they fax it to me. That was the easy part. I got the detailed patient log. The problem was getting in touch with them to fax it. I tried calling them before like 10 times, all the time being put on hold for periods of 15 minutes. I eventually gave up since I have other things to do (my fault since I have to make a living).

A few weeks later I received another nasty gram saying my card had been FROZEN. I tried to resolve the matter quickly, you know, in case something happens to me that I would actually need my health insurance. I called directly at 8:00AM. That seemed to get me to a representative pretty fast. They told me to fax it to them, so I did. I also emailed them later in the day to make sure it went through. No response.

I called earlier today to make sure they got everything they needed so I can have health insurance again. I was only on hold for 16 minutes! What a surprise! Anyway, they were able to unfreeze my card so I have health care again.

It’s a comfort to know in the event of an emergency, my health insurance company can freeze my card over a matter of $30… that of which they already had permission to view my claims.

Obama’s Afghanistan Surge Speech Prediction

If you haven’t heard, Obama is planning to implement a “surge” in Afghanistan. He’s going to announce his plan to send more than 30,000 additional troops (and who knows how many government contractors) to the war next Tuesday.

My prediction for Obama’s speech is another “Bush” like speech:

  • The war is necessary
  • We need to change the strategy in Afghanistan (meaning things remain the same)
  • Our security as a nation relies on it
  • This war is not open ended
  • This war is the “good war”
  • We want to hand responsibility to the Afghans ASAP
  • Benchmarks (that probably won’t matter nor will they be met)
  • How we plan to work with other nations to ensure a stable Afghanistan
  • We need to “finish the job”
  • The next few months (or years) will “demand more patience, sacrifice, and resolve”

The speech will also NOT contain the following:

  • An exit strategy
  • A time line
  • How much more this war will cost
  • The goal
  • How much strain this war is putting on our already strained military
  • In what way this war is tied to our national security

This war is a drain. Obama is sending every other brigade left to Afghanistan leaving us with very few units. We need to cut our losses, end both wars, and send our troops home where they belong.

It never ceases to amaze me how the Congress and the president can be so willing to escalate a war with all the problems we’re facing here. We’re told we have to accept cutbacks on health care and our infrastructure in order to help balance the budget, yet every time there’s a war bill, Congress rubber stamps it. I don’t understand how we have to compromise on health care yet the wars have no compromise. They can be funded open endedly.

I wrote to my congressmen, Ben Cardin, asking him to help push HR 676 (Universal Single Payer Health Care for the US). He wrote back to me:

As a member of the Senate Budget Committee, I firmly believe that any reform proposals we enact must be fully paid for, and the budget resolution passed by Congress requires that.

What about the wars, Senator?

Another Victim Of The Health Insurance Industry, Me Part I

I’ve been taking Ortho Tri-Cyclen Low birth control since as long as I can remember. I started taking it probably in 1998 to help regulate things. In college, I didn’t have the privilege of having health insurance so I relied on Planned Parenthood to supply me and to give me my yearly check up.

Since I got a job, I’ve had CareFirst Blue Cross, which, up until a month ago has been pretty good. I was able to get the prescription with ease and it was cheap.

A few months ago I had to switch my plan since the POS plan got way too expensive. I switched to the cheaper plan. It required me to fill out a bunch of forms to do simple stuff that the POS used to do automatically (like paying the doctors). I now have this card I use.

The problem I’m having with them is that they changed my birth control on me. I order from Walgreen’s Online Pharmacy, so my prescription is shipped to me. My doctor prescribes me the name brand (Ortho Tri-Cyclen Low) since it’s what I’m used to and what I’ve been taking for years.

Being name brand is more expensive for my insurance company so they took it upon themselves to switch me to the generic version WITHOUT TELLING ME. It’s their policy that if there is a generic form of the prescription, they have to dispense it rather than the name brand.

Much to my surprise when I got my prescription in the mail, it was stuff I haven’t even heard of. I asked my doctor, I asked anyone I could think of who would know if this changed anything. They basically all said no.

However, I found out last month when I started taking it that it wasn’t the same. I got sick. It also didn’t have the same effect that the name brand had. I don’t want to be gross in a blog post, but let’s just say a lot of weird things happened.

Now I’m faced with… well… weird things still happening. I called my doctor. He’s going to try to talk to CareFirst to tell them to put me back on Ortho Tri-Cyclen Low… not that it should be their decision but that’s the kind of health care system we have in this country.

Halloween Lately?

I’ve noticed a lot of unenthusiasm for our upcoming holiday, Halloween. It’s pretty sad. I remember when I was a kid, all the neighborhoods would be well decorated in Halloween stuff. There were even a lot of really scary looking houses where the owners went all out.

My neighborhood, I’m sorry to say, isn’t like that at all. There are a few houses here and there that have a few Halloween decorations, but it was nothing like when I was a kid. There were some pretty awesome houses where people really went all out. My neighborhood is dry compared to what I remember.

Is it just my neighborhood? I’m pretty sure I live in a middle class area. There are lots of kids who play on the streets. I’m not in an old folks community or anything. (Although my one coworker lives near me and he is pretty old, OHHH, DISSSS!)

Is this happening in other neighborhoods? This lack of interest in Halloween?

I talked it over with Brian, since money is tight right now, next year I want to totally do up the entire house Halloween. Be one of those houses that everyone looks at, you know? My only hesitation is people stealing Halloween decorations (which honestly I’m not too worried about) and lack of children to enjoy it. I’m not sure how many trick or treaters I’ll get this year, but I want to be ready with lots of candy for them. I’ll be dressing up for Halloween to hand out candy. I plan to have a get together to watch scary movies and drink beer since it’s a Saturday night.

Halloween should be every kids favorite holiday (besides Christmas). It was such a happy time for me and I’d hate to see our society and people lose interest.

Health Care Links

Since I’ve been staying very current on the health care reform debate, I thought I’d post some of the best articles I’ve found in my months of research on this subject. These articles prove to be much ammunition for those who are against HCR or those right wingers who think our system is better than single payer or socialized medicine country.

Oregon Live – Five Myths About Health Care Around The World – Probably one of the best articles I’ve ever read. It debunks the five biggest myths about single payer and socialized medicine.

Blast The Right – Transcript 152 – Debunking Conservative lies about the health care debate.

Blast The Right – Transcript 154 – Debunking more lies from the right about HCR.

Blast The Right – Transcript 155 – Part III of debunking the right on HCR.

ABC News – How Health Insurance Companies Hurt Policyholders – The real death panels of the health insurance industry, as told by an insider.

Newsweek – What’s Not To Like About Our Health Care System – A view of our current health care system.

Huffington Post – GOPers Decrying Socialized Medicine – Some Congressmen from the GOP have actually used government run hospitals for their surgery, yet they are against it.

US Health Crisis – What Real Canadians Think Of Their Health Care – A video of actual Canadians and what they think of their health care system.

IPPF – How Our Health System Screws Over Women – A look at what women are put through thanks to our messed up health system. Sheds some light on our shamefully high infant mortality rate.

Families USA – Dying For Coverage In Maryland – A PDF of the suffering Marylanders go through without insurance. Some good facts on why insurance matters.

Maybe reading these will convince some that a single payer system is the way to go… The very least being a public option.

Losing Hope

Of late I’ve been pretty depressed about the state of the US. I think I figured out why.

During the Bush years, I knew there was no hope in solving our big problems like global warming, health care, the national debt, the wars, etc. Bush did so much to hurt the United States. I genuinely believe him to be a “T” word (not “tyrant”, by the way).

When we overwhelmingly called for change and progress via electing Obama, I cried. I was so happy. I had so much hope for our country. It was finally going to turn around, I thought. The Democrats had won power back and now had an overwhelming majority. Nothing could stop the progressive movement… I thought.

Here we are entering October. Obama’s been in power eight months. Nothing major has changed.

My friend said go easy on Obama, give him some slack, he has a lot up against him. I can’t on major issues that need to be solved ASAP and bad Bush policies that he promised not to resume. He wants to be bipartisan when sometimes it’s not worth it.

Health Care. When a majority of the country wants a public option, Obama wants to try and be bipartisan on an issue all Republicans have stated they would not vote for. The Republicans have basically come out and said they’re not voting for anything health care related. Obama started with a compromise and look what we have now. A bill that probably won’t have apublic option. If he proposed universal single payer health care from the start, the compromise would have to be the public option. Obama needs to stop pandering to the Republicans. Get universal single payer health care enforced… or be a wimp and just have a public option. Honestly, I think they should resort to an old Bush tactic and call the bill something like the “Health Care Patriot Bill”. Just throw in that word “patriot”. Then if the Republicans don’t vote for it, Democrats can bring that up the next election and call them “unpatriotic”. The Republicans did the same things the last eight years.

Global Warming. Obama’s Clean Energy And Security Act Of 2009 is weak at best. It doesn’t stop the problem, rather it gives us reason to prolong the problem and tackle it another day. Scientists say we needed to stop pollution and reduce our greenhouse emissions yesterday. Read what Dennis Kucinich had to say about the billObama should put harsh restrictions in place for polluters and give tax cuts to companies who go green. Start enforcement of restrictions sooner, not in 2016, now, cause we need it now. Be honest with the American people and tell them to sacrifice and do common sense things like recycle, buy fuel efficient cars, and eat less meat.

The Economy. Corporations and their strength and greed ruined our country and we let them get away with it. The richest 1% of Americans more than doubled their share from 8.5% to 22% from the early 80’s to 2006. CEO’s earn over 500 times what the average worker earns, versus 40 times more like in the past. Obama, I thought, was going to be a true leader and put corporations in their place and impose restrictions and not let them walk all over the American people and their government. Obama hasn’t done this. I want Obama to be a strong president, like (I hate to say it) Bush. Bush, for all the bad shit that he did, he was actually able to get what he wanted done… almost every time. Obama needs to impose and enforce restrictions on companies with strong penalties. We’re a year after the financial meltdown and not one restriction has been put on Wall Street. There is nothing stopping what happened last year from happening again. Business’s will continue to make risky ventures full well knowing if they fail, the government and us tax payers will back them up. We need Obama to stand up and send a clear message to Wall Street that we will not have their back anymore. Another idea would be to force a split of these big institutions that are too big to fail.

Torture. I voted to condemn the act of torture and to finally get justice and accountability in the United States. We signed the Geneva Conventions for a reason, to condemn torture. It was my hope that Obama would come through on this and investigate past acts of illegal activity by the previous administration. However, Obama has chosen not to look into past (proven) acts of torture and illegal activities. You prevent future torture by prosecuting past acts of torture. Obama needs to do this and hold everyone accountable as well as follow through on his closing of Guantanamo Bay.

Afghan & Iraq Wars. Obama needs to follow through on his promise to get us out of Iraq… that goes without saying. Bush put us in the middle of two big, useless wars. We don’t need to be over there, just like we don’t need to be in Germany and Japan anymore. Iraq and Afghanistan are two examples of the Military Industrial Complex at work in this country. Blackwater, Halliburton, Lockheed Martin, etc have made billions off of these wars. And they continue to be awarded no-bid contracts by our government. There once was a time in our history where being called a war profiteer was considered a bad thing. These contractors have literally gotten away with fraud, arms dealing, and murder. It started under Bush and, unfortunately, continues under Obama. Obama needs to get out of Iraq and Afghanistan as peacefully as possible. Since we shifted our focus to Afghanistan now, it has become more and more violent. Both countries don’t want us there and as long as we’re there, we’re wasting billions of dollars and lives. Also, Obama should bring charges against Blackwater, KBR, DynCorp, ArmorGroup for fraud, child prostitution, murder, etc.

Gay Marriage. I applaud states for finally standing up and admitting that it is unconstitutional to not allow same sex couples to wed. I really don’t think Obama has done much at all to advance the GLBT community. He hasn’t repealed Don’t Ask Don’t Tell like he promised. Obama should make a public statement about this and encourage more states to allow same sex marriage and repeal the Defense Of Marriage Act. Also, repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell so gays can openly serve in our military.

Iran. I am glad Obama is exercising diplomacy. However putting sanctions on a country that hasn’t launched an aggressive war in modern history is a little ridiculous. I have always said who are we to not allow another country to develop nuclear weapons? We have them, and we’ve waged a lot of wars, two very recently. Why do we feel the need to defend Israel anyway? They have nukes and can take care of themselves. Obama needs to leave Iran alone. Please, for Gods sake, don’t invade. Don’t start another costly war.

Leading The Country. Obama has not shown us that he is a strong leader. Not one president since JFK has asked us to do anything! I want Obama to step up and tell me to make sacrifices. Obama needs to tell us to eat healthier, cut out fast food, drive more fuel efficient cars, recycle, stop relying on credit cards, etc.

Granted, I’m also mad at Obama for a lot of other issues like the national debt. If I were to give Obama a grade, it would be a D. So far I think he and his Democratic Congress have failed to do what we gave them power to do. They actually listen to Republican nonsense and not rebut it. So lies (like the illegal immigration coverage and abortion field trips in the HCR bill) will fester and become widely known as fact.

Frankly, I don’t see how his administration is in any way a Democratic one. Obama and his Congress need to get their act together and fix the country. We elected them and gave them all the tools they need to do what we want. If they can’t do it by next year, I predict the Republicans will gain back a lot of power fairly easily.

Quickie Quote From Bill Maher I

Bill Maher was on the Jay Leno Show last night and said a pretty funny thing. It’s too long for Twitter or else I’d tweet it.

“If you’ve voted for a guy who wouldn’t give you health care, as opposed to one who would, you should have your head examined… Except you can’t afford to have your head examined because you don’t have health care.”

Just thought I’d share it.

Successful Government Programs

As some of you may have watched, Rush Limbaugh was on the Jay Leno show last night, talking nothing but trash. Leno got in there a few times to correct Rush on a few of his “misunderstandings”. Most of what he said, of course, were lies. I debunked a few as he was saying them on my twitter.

The one lie I loved the best was him claiming that there are no successful government run programs. I desperately wanted to tweet but, come on, my list would be well over the 140 character limit Twitter has.

I decided just to blog about it quickly here and list a few successful government programs. Some of these everyone uses in their day to day lives, without even realizing it:

Federal Highway Administration
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Environmental Protection Agency
Tennessee Valley Authority
National Park Service
Medicaid
Medicare
National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA)
Social Security
Family & Medical Leave Act
National Weather Service
Consumer Product Safety Commission
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Government Grants
Food & Drug Administration
Americans with Disabilities Act
Servicemen’s Readjustment Act (GI bill)
Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act (another GI bill)
Peace Corps
European Recovery Program (Marshall Plan)
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
Car Allowance Rebate System (CARS or cash for clunkers)
Morrill Land-Grant Colleges Act
Public Broadcasting
Public Schools & Universities
Public Transportation (it has a lot of faults but a lot of people need it to get around)
Public Libraries
Fire Department
Workers’ Compensation (ex Sate Compensation Insurance Fund of California)
Rural Utilities Service
Federal Aviation Administration
Community Development Block Grant
Housing & Urban Development (HUD)

It turns out there are a lot of successful government run programs, making this list rather incomplete.

How Am I Going To Watch Everything?

So football is back, as you know. I’m already in. The problem is now that shows are starting to come back. My week is like packed.

Sunday’s
10:00AM – 11:30AM I try to catch The Chris Matthews Show and Meet The Press. It usually doesn’t turn out that way, though.
12:00PM – 11:00PM I watch all the football games I could possibly watch.
9:00PM – 10:00PM is Dexter… I’m going to have to watch it on demand or try to catch it another time. I can’t sacrifice football… I might miss something.
10:00PM – 11:00PM is the rerun of Realtime. I usually miss the live show on Friday cause Friday night I’m always doing something.

Monday’s
8:00PM – 11:00PM MNF. No way around it (unless the Suckles play).
9:00PM – 10:00PM House. Going to have to miss it to watch MNF.

Tuesday’s
Nothing

Wednesday’s
9:00PM – 10:00PM Law & Order SVU.

Thursday’s
9:00PM – 10:00PM Fringe.

Friday’s
Always hang out with buddies.

Saturday’s
Usually at Dad’s working… but it could be soon I won’t have to!

Monday – Friday
5:00PM – 6:00PM is Hardball… This show is the only show I watch religiously because it’s so nice. Just get home and put it on.
8:00PM – 9:00PM is Countdown.
9:00PM – 10:00PM is Rachel.
10:00PM – whenever is Leno.

Lots of quality programming available. I guess I’ll have to squeeze stuff in somehow. Or do what I usually do and watch KO and Rachel at work on msnbc.com . I can catch Dexter and Realtime on demand. I always rearrange stuff to hang out with peeps anyway… TV isn’t that important. I just wanted to list out all my TV stuff I would like to watch.

Football Predictions 2009 — Playoffs

Here’s who I think will go to the playoffs in 2009:

AFC:

New England Patriots
Pittsburgh Steelers
Jacksonville Jaguars
Denver Broncos
Baltimore Ravens
Miami Dolphins

NFC:

New York Giants
Minnesota Vikings
New Orleans Saints
Arizona Cardinals
Dallas Cowboys
Chicago Bears

I can’t see any particular division being that hard like the NFC East has been for years. The most powerful division is probably the AFC South. There should be a lot of good games in the AFC North. It’ll be interesting who transcends this year. A lot of teams lost a lot of good players. I’d predict the NFC is a lot weaker than the AFC this year.

Quickie On Tort Reform

I was trying to remember the source… I believe it may have been Bill Maher or Chris Matthews… but I remember hearing how California and Texas both passed tort reform.

Some think that tort reform can solve this health care problem. Texas is a prime example that it can not.

Texas passed tort reform back in 2003 by capping payoffs from malpractice cases. One article said it increased doctors in the state. Yet today, Texas is the uninsured capital of the United States with 24.4% of Texans being uninsured.

What people think is tort reform encourages more doctors and lowers insurance costs. However, this data shows that tort reform does not work to lower costs. Insurance rates should have gone down, hence more people should afford to be insured.

If tort reform worked, Texas and California wouldn’t be that high on the list of uninsured states.

Debunking Public Vs Private

Side Note: Since this post will kind of be a health care debate post… sort of… and since I couldn’t digg the article yesterday since Digg was being stupid and not letting me submit it, I’ll link to an interesting article about how the health insurance companies hurt policyholders.

Now, I’ve heard a lot of arguments from the right (and some blue dogs on the left) these days of why a public option in health care would be a bad thing… like a healthy competition is a bad thing. It started me thinking of how public competes against private. Brian and I spent an hour coming up with a pretty good list of ways public competes with private:

  • Public vs Private mail – For example USPS vs FedEx.
  • Public vs Private schools – For example colleges can be public or private. Most private colleges (and schools) are more expensive. Wouldn’t private schools not be around at all if everyone put their kids in public since it’s cheaper? There are REALLY good public schools (example UMD)… yet there are still private schools out there… wonder why.
  • Public vs Private airports – Here’s a list of public and private airports in Maryland. I don’t hear any private airports (or conservatives) wining how the public ones take all the business away. Private airports are still in business, oddly enough.
  • Public vs Private space agencies – For example NASA vs Scaled Composites (which is a child of Northrup Grumman).
  • Pubic vs Private hospitals – Thinking there probably shouldn’t be any private hospitals still around… oh wait, there are.
  • Public vs Private radio – Ever heard of NPR? Nothing about the right crying “unfair” they’re competing with private radio stations.
  • Pubic vs Private banks – This one really gets me. I don’t hear anything about people being mad at government run banks or credit unions. You’d think they’d offer higher interest rates on savings accounts (you know, since they don’t have to worry about profit). Which in turn, you guessed it, causes the private to go out of business. But none of that happens. Public and private are just as competitive. In fact, I bank with ING Direct and I get a much better interest rate than if I banked with NFCU.
  • Public vs Private television – PBS versus almost anything else. How come PBS isn’t kicking butt on the ratings? Oh yeah, they suck. So people go to private… Hmm… apply that theory to healthcare… Case in point, if this public option sucks, people will flock back to private. Private just needs to be… what’s the word… oh yeah, COMPETITIVE.

Pretty sure this list is incomplete. Can you think of more?

Now, I don’t hear anyone on the right (or anyone for a “free market”) arguing against any of these. If public was so good, we wouldn’t be having this debate, would we? These major things would all be run by the government and there would be no private. And I’m guessing Obama’s socialism would be a much larger number than 0.21%.

And regarding the argument: “oh well when one of the companies doesn’t have to worry about a profit…” Honestly? If your life depended on a decision from someone NOT in it for the profit or someone IN it for the profit, I can’t imagine why anyone would put their life in the hands of someone who’s only looking out for their profit.